Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Nova #18

By Nathan Madison
November 3, 2008 - 20:15

     The eighteenth issue of the current ongoing Nova series opens immediately where the previous installment left off: at the center of a life-or-death struggle between an army of invading Skrulls, and a group of Earth's defenders, namely Darkhawk, Nova, and a recently resurrected Wendell Vaughn, also known as Quasar, who was murdered by Annihilus during the Annihilation War. In addition to Quasar, Richard's onboard computer (and guardian of the entire Xandarian culture, as well as its powerful Nova Force) the Worldmind has also returned, as

the scientists at the secret Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. installation where the battle is taking place attempt to use his massive computational skills to their advantages in fending off the Skrull onslaught. The trio drives the invaders out of the complex, only to find an enormous Skrull warship, readying itself to destroy the entire facility. Suddenly, the entire vessel explodes, and the threat is neutralized, only for yet another unforeseen situation to present itself; behind the ship's destruction is not the Worldmind, as Nova suspected, but rather a quintet of Nova Centurions, fellow soldiers in the Nova Corps, a corps that had been wiped out during the Annihilation conflict and a brotherhood that Richard Ryder believed himself to be the last remaining member of.

     This latest episode of Nova continues an excellent series that has never let up on plot, characterization or action from its very inception; actually, even before its inception, as writer Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning planted the seeds for this new series with their work on the Annihilation: Nova mini-series that was part of Keith Giffen's exceptional space saga, Annihilation. As Darkhawk points out during the battle (which never really lets up until the end of the issue), it seems Richard has changed from the last time he saw him, and the reader can concur with this; throughout this series, the characterization of Richard Ryder has been superbly crafted by the book's writers, and he has indeed become wiser and stronger concerning his new responsibility as the Nova Prime, the last of the Nova Corps. This issue continues that path, with Nova effectively taking command of the entire defense of the Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. base, as a seasoned warrior and natural leader.

     This characterization also allows for the small talk between the characters, such as Darkhawk and Nova, and Nova and Quasar, to tell a great deal about them; Quasar and Richard are old friends (as are Darkhawk and Richard, having both been New Warriors at one point), and this camaraderie shows. The reader is not treated to nothing more than a bunch of super-heroes teaming up to save the day, but rather three friends who have been through a great deal doing the best they can, each of them being something more than what they were before. The artwork is exceptional, again as is the case with the entirety of the series; interesting and unique angles are taken advantage of, at times especially (but not limited to) during the actions sequences, giving the book an almost cinematic feel. Every scene, character and settings are rendered in fantastic detail, equaling the writing in its craftsmanship.

     This installment of the Nova series, just as the seventeen before it, never let up on the action, the progression of both its plot and characterization of its title hero, and ends on a cliffhanger that makes one wish that the month between issues was a great deal shorter.

Rating: 9 /10

Last Updated: January 24, 2022 - 11:00

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